Bimbo Oyesola, Charles Nwaoguji and Chinwendu Obienyi
Nigerian Breweries (NB) Plc, yesteday, said it has attained 57 per cent of its 60 per cent 2020 target on local sourcing of raw material for its production processes.
The target according to the company is coming almost 70 years after it formally commenced the business of brewing and distribution of a range of alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages in the country.
Mrs Sade Morgan, Corporate Affairs Director, who made the disclosure during the company’s Pre-Annual General Meeting Briefing on Tuesday in Lagos, said that local sourcing remained an integral part of NB’s long term sustainability plan.
“We are also exploring the use of maize and rice as brewing adjuncts (sources of starch) in addition to what we have previously achieved with sorghum and cassava.
“This agenda enriches value creation among local business owners on the local sourcing value chain,” she said. Morgan also restated the company’s commitment to enhance renewable energy, saying that NB in 2018 commenced the reuse of biogas generated from its effluent treatment plants for thermal heat generation in its boilers.
She said Nigerian Breweries remained committed to positively impacting the society through its corporate social responsibility and sustainability activities and that that has informed its interventions in education and empowerment programmes at various levels.
Also speaking at the occasion, NB’s Managing Director and Chief Executive, Mr Jordi Borrut Bel, disclosed that the company recorded a turnover of N324 billion in 2018 financial year, compared to N345 billion in 2017. He said that company’s operating profit equally declined from N57 billion to N37 billion, due to impact of higher Excise Duty and other operational costs.
“In spite of the challenging operating environment, we were able to end the year with a profit after tax of N19 billion, although lower than the N33 billion recorded in 2017,” he said.
Bel said the new excise duty rate of N30 per litre introduced by the Federal Government in June 2018, translated to 43 per cent increase from an average rate of N21 per litre previously.
“It was difficult to pass on this extra cost to consumers in view of weak purchasing power. It was therefore an additional cost burden that companies in the sector had to bear,” he said.
Bel noted that in spite of the challenges in the economy, there were opportunities to be leveraged upon for growth. He said that the country’s challenging environment was gradually improving, as inflation rate was on a decline, foreign exchange market stable and growth in the Gross Domestic Product.